China Mobile Said to Not Invest in TD-SCDMA

Updated:2011/11/30 10:15

China Mobile Ltd. (sehk:0941 and NYSE), the nation's biggest mobile phone operator, is said to suspend investing in the TD-SCDMA technology.

A principal with the company's mobile terminal unit denied the saying in an interview on November 28, stating that the technology was in a maturation period and the company would attach importance to it as usual.

Xi Guohua, a top executive with the company, said at a forum not long ago that it internally expected the TD-LTE technology to contribute 50 percent of the LTE market in the future. Shenzhen, as one of the nation's six cities in which the technology was trailed in a large scale, saw the construction of 220 LTE base stations be completed before August this year. With those base stations, the southern Chinese special economic zone would take the lead to enter the 4G era. Prior to the forum, the company released a TD-LTE mobile phone model with the Android operating system in a bid to show its ability in the 4G field. Considering the previous TD-SCDMA development process, some industry observers thus believed that the technology would be launched for commercial use next year and in order to avoid overlapping investment, the company would suspend injecting into the TD-SCDMA technology.

Xi reiterated that the phase-I trail of the TD-LTE technology in the six cities was smooth and judging from the results, the technology could be put into commercial use there. Now, it was busy in arranging for trail with larger scale in the country. In addition, other telecom operators that had cast eye on the technology around the globe actually expected to kick off commercial use of it. And in their opinion, as long as the Chinese telecom giant started commercial use of the technology, they had the opportunity.

It is a great challenge for China Mobile to develop both the TD-SCDMA technology and the TD-LTE one. The TD-LTE technology is regarded as a long-term evolution of the TD-SCDMA one, but they actually are quite different. According to a R&D staff at a large-sized telecom equipment provider in the country, the TD-SCDMA is the CDMA technology and the TD-LTE is the OFDM technology. The TD-LTE is not the long-term evolution of the TD-SCDMA in terms of technology and to be frank, the latter can not be upgraded into the former. The company is attaching rising importance to the TD-LTE technology and thus it has become a focal point whether it will continue investing in the TD-SCDMA technology.

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